this show is really,really great and totally awesome in my opinion XOX i dont know how the hell everyone rate the anime really low.before i start the review i have to say that i'm not really cut out for some long review and i'll keep it as short as i can.sorry write a long review is really a pain in the ass.
what i will focused on is the story,
this story is about Jirou who work in superhuman bureau(divison which work on protecting superhuman) and how he faced every case and solved it.but later he rebel against the superhuman bureau,the reason about his rebel still unclear
though we already got a clue about it.
So, the story doesn't use a typical plot as any dozens of anime out there had used but instead use flashback a lot as their plot, which is rarely used by any anime in the recent years,that what make this show is great despite the main story of this anime is actually simple.but the cons is the flashback thingy this show have,and plus fast paced story,will make many viewer won't understand what is going on.
but if you want to challenge your self for a new perspective,this show is a must watch.
oh and about the Art,
the art is really cartoonish.
The 2015 seasonal lineup have given rise to several shows surrounding superheroes and their antics. From the well-known juggernauts like One Punch Man, to the more paradoxical ones like Punch Line; superhero stories seem to be on an all time rise, which can be a direct respondent to the recent boom for superhero films surging in the west. With the success of The Avengers, currently one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, and Marvel's ever-expanding cinematic universe, as well as DC Comics, who has also thrown their hats into the ring to follow the trend, this phase isn't expected to die down anytime soon.
Japan has always been influenced by the actions of big brother, and this is now being reflected in the world of anime, with the introduction of shows like 2013's Gatchaman Crowds and Samurai Flamenco, all the way up to what's being produced today. And like studio Bones's other 2015 show Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront), which explored this idea in a less common way, they once again take that approach with Concrete Revolutio: exploring the inner workings of the would-be organizations that would form if superheroes truly exist. Similar in structure to the governing bodies found in movies such as The Incredibles and Men In Black, Concrete Revolutio focuses on the political maneuvering and policies that such an organization like that would have to navigate when dealing with "superhumans". The biggest difference from those movies, however, is the creative liberty that Concrete takes to toss in every supernatural entity in consumable media under the same umbrella, which results in the biggest supernatural orgy placed in a TV series format since the likes of X-Files and Once Upon A Time.
Before we dive further into this review, I feel like it's absolutely essential to give a bit of context about studio Bones and their infamous reputation when it comes to dealing with plots in supernatural premise anime. Bones and proper writing meshes as effectively as oil and water. If there isn't a pre-written guideline to follow (and sometimes even that isn't enough), studio Bones can almost guarantee to write themselves into a corner, with convoluted narrative choices and contrived plotting. When it comes to visuals and auditory choices, they are often leagues ahead of the pack, but the moment it's time to work on the script, they're as proficient as a group of monkeys on a typewriter. Darker Than Black season 2, Eureka Seven AO, and recent entry Kekkai Sensen, are just the tip of the iceberg when discussing Bones's infamous track record.
So as a forewarning, when you sit down to watch a Bones anime, good visuals are almost always pre-packaged with it, but unfortunately, the chances of a coherent narrative to accompany those visuals are as likely as a coin toss.
Now let's make this clear, Concrete Revolutio isn't really "badly" written, just badly organized. Following the plot is somewhat manageable if you dig deep and pay attention to minute details, like setting changes and timeline placement. And as to be expected, the visuals were great, as they tend to be with the content the studio creates. But when it came to that coin toss on whether or not we would receive a coherent narrative, this is yet another Bones production that reinforces their standing as the ADHD studio. There may be a huge influx of superhero titles being produced in recent years, but none can boast the same kind of headache inducing clusterfuck narrative set forth by Concrete Revolutio.
The story takes place during several timeline events that's intermingled into one overarching narrative. The first timeline that's introduced is the personal journey and eventual turncoat direction taken by Jirou Hitoyoshi, the show's protagonist, and window into the world of Concrete Revolutio. The other major storyline is dedicated to the macroeconomics and real world implementation of superhumans, coinciding with the organizations that would be created as a direct result of their presence. What brings both stories together is our protagonist himself, who is an agent that works for the 'Superhuman Bureau', which is one of the biggest governing bodies that oversee the handling of superhumans; may that be by suppressing those that they deem "dangerous", or using them as tools to further their agenda.
What Concrete Revolutio deserves credit for is tackling the subject matter with some level of sobering realism. It's not often that we get a superhero story that bothers to explore the inner-workings of the politics and regiments needed to make such a world function. With shows like One Punch Man that only generally discuss the ideas of a superhero organization, or Samurai Flamenco that does so intermittently between arcs, Revolutio goes the extra mile by making the idea a primary focus, and scratches an itch that some viewers didn't even know they had for such a topic, to begin with. It was an interesting idea that blended the surreal world of comic book lore, with that of actual political maneuvering.
But that's where the praise ends. Despite this intriguing premise, Concrete's plotting is nothing short of... mind-numbingly bad. Everything that it had going for it, from the retro comic-book inspired art-style, to the interesting storyline, is made null and void by Bones's inability to craft a coherent narrative. And this isn't to say an interwoven narrative about supernatural beings told in different timelines can't be done (anime titles such as Baccano and Durarara can attest to that). This is just another case of Bones being 'Bones', which is a shame since the potential for something good was there. Like I already said, if you pay enough attention you can piece the puzzle that is this narrative, but even when you do so, the resulting picture is as warped as anything laid down by Pablo Picasso.
If you do decide to watch this anime, do so with the understanding that the story presented to you will be an utter mess. Not a bad story, I can't emphasize that enough, but simply a messy one.
With that out of the way, let's discuss something that studio Bones do demonstrate competency in, and that's their visuals. As briefly mentioned, the show has a very nice art direction. Drawing inspiration from western comic-book panel work, we get a vivid depiction of the show's universe. With lots of saturated wall-to-wall color, stippling (halftone) effects, pop art illustrations and other key elements used, this show is great eye-candy. If you're a comic-book enthusiast or simply looking for a visual treat, this title should be on your radar, for it is nothing short of excellent in the art department.
Following suit, we're also given a soundtrack that upholds the feeling found with superhero stories. With uplifting synthpop numbers, post-modern rock undertones, and quirky ambient sound-bites to help set the mood. It did a decent job in keeping in tempo with the actions being demonstrated on-screen. Despite no real musical cues really standing out, or any moment where I can say the soundtrack ever went above and beyond what's expected of it, It was still a cut above average, not impressive but still serviceable.
Like the world the story takes place in, the characters are equally vibrant in personality and outward appearance. And if you could recall, I mention that the show included every fictional supernatural being in its universe, which led to quite a diverse lineup. While not as memorable individually, as a whole the characters introduced were expansive enough to keep things interesting. You never know what you'll get at any given episode. One minute we're following intergalactic sentient beings, and the next we're given magical girls from another dimension. It's hard to pinpoint or even describe the cast in any detail, when I said "the biggest supernatural orgy", I really do mean that.
The biggest problem with the characters come from the main cast that we follow on a daily basis. They're not bad, but at the same time, they're just not that interesting. These are characters who's definitive personality traits are only as interesting as their superpowers. They're better defined by what they can do than who they are. Because of this, they're not people most viewers would find intriguing. They're mostly there to carry the plot along, rather than anyone that you'll want to personally invest in.
All in all, the cast was fun but wasn't really anything beyond that.
The premise and art style is what ultimately got me through this show. I never thought I would find the inner-workings of a superhero universe to be so interesting. But as far as enjoyment is concerned, Revolutio really fell short, thanks in no small part to the horribly executed plot.
Concrete Revolutio is a show that I hesitate to suggest trying out without mentioning a few precursors. This anime is NOT easy to follow, even for the more astute of viewers out there, nor is it rewarding as a story when it is all said and done. But if the idea of politics being incorporated into a superhero universe seems intriguing to you, then I say proceed with caution. Visually the show keeps up the track record of Bones's other works, but it sadly does nothing in improving their standing in the sloppy plotting department. Concrete Revolutio may not live up to its potential, but it's still something that contains some inherent value.
Original anime is quite a rarity these days. Most of the shows that you encounter on a normal seasonal basis are adaptations of manga, LN, or VN, as things really only get an anime when it's really popular. And then you have original anime, where there is no source material and only itself in order to tell the story it wants to tell. So, thanks to Bones, we have Concrete Revolutio. A show that...you know what, fuck it, a single word cannot describe this mess.
Story: In a fantasy version of the world, there are beings that live among humans known as
Superhumans. What are superhumans? Well, they don't just include humans with superpowers, they, according to the show's logic, involve things like aliens, witches, yokai, time travelers, cyborgs, androids, what have you. It is here where we follow the story of the Superhuman Bureau, a group of people who work to aid Superhumans and aid them in their plight of need.
Concrete...is a special kind of show, and that's meant to be taken however you wish. Following our group of superhumans, every episode of the show follows these characters as they go through a completely different storyline in almost every episode, tackling a different event and problem that has to do with the Superhumans featured in the show. The biggest problem with Concrete as far as story is concerned is that it's very, very, VERY badly paced and structured. Not only does every episode basically start a completely different story, but they go into different periods of time as well. The show bounces back and forth between the present and future (or...past and present; both of them work, really.) without really any warning. In addition, the show just feels like it's rushing itself. The show throws you right into the action and leaves you there to see what's going on as characters shout their definition of justice to their opponent, discuss politics, or what have you.
And that brings me to my next point, justice. Concrete tried to make itself into a show that talks about the morality of justice, freedom, and the rights of beings, regardless of what they are. (Just a little side note, the characters in the show even argue what a superhuman even is, with some saying that they're just humans with superpowers, while other's say it's everything NOT human.) As a theme, it's a good one. But as they say, great in theory, messy in practice. The concept of morality in this series is very in your face, as almost every line has to do with the rights or what have you. The problem is, that's all it really is, talk. The characters don't really do anything for this topic, relying solely on the plot to bring them another situation where they state their goals and hopes for the future which really in the end doesn't do the show any justice since it's all talk and no real action.
In the end, Concrete is what I would describe as an "incomprehensible piece of crap that doesn't bother to make sense of itself until the VERY LAST EPISODE", and even in the last episode it doesn't make much sense. (And that is my honest opinion.) With its episodic storyline that is so disjointed that not even the 'connecting' parts of the story really connect, as well as a philosophy concept that doesn't get off the ground period, this is a show that I for once, will not be watching the next season of, since there is more for some god unknown reason.
- Disjointed story
- Really bad pacing
- Concept of 'morality' never gets off the ground
- Why is there going to be a second season?!
Characters: Characters are also one of my biggest gripes in the series. Not just because they said that ghosts are physical and can apparently shapeshift into animals, objects, or what have you, but because there're just so many of them and none of them are really spectacular.
For once, I really can't pin down any of these characters for the sole reason of there's not really anything to say about them. We have the superhuman bureau, and then we have everyone else. As mentioned before, each of these characters in this cast has some sense of morality or view on the existence between superhumans and humans together. As such, there are a lot of sides and a lot of say in the matter, and these characters really just feel like puppets on a stage. I can't even pin the supposed main protagonist Jiro down because on one hand, he wants to protect all superhumans, but at the same time, he fights a lot of them and says he wants to protect the people as well which is rather conflicting.
For the most part, the cast of this series features side characters, as they take up the brunt of the showtime. (Another interestingly odd thing.) With every new episode, the show introduces new characters, primarily superhumans, and features them and their plight with every new episode that comes. As a concept, this show wouldn't be too bad with its episodic format, but because it's structured in the way it is, a lot of the motivation that the side characters have with each passing episode doesn't always make complete sense, and the reasoning why they do stuff is either unknown or is told in a confusing manner so much so that I question what their plan was from the very beginning. (They have a kid agitate the monster he was trying to say was a good guy, before promptly crying because it went on a rampage and he felt sad. Where is the logic in that?!)
+ Devotion to side cast
- One note cast. (Everyone's pretty one-note)
- Character motivation is confusing
Art: Produced by Studio Bones, Concrete bears a very different style of animation contrary to anime in general. Hosting a very bright and vibrant color scheme reminiscent to comic books and what have you, the artstyle for Concrete is very flashy and incredibly vibrant. It was done in a way that was actually really appealing to the eye since it reflected the fantastical world that they were trying to portray and it fit with that aspect of the show.
In addition, the art is very fluent. There really aren't any bumps with it, as the entirety of the show is well made, showcasing all of the superhuman powers, the crazy tech, and out of this world stuff that just looks fun to watch.
+ Great and unique artstyle
Sound: Sound is also an aesthetic to the series that I cannot deny has decent qualities to it. The OP of the series is this loud and blaring rock song that gives you this rush and excitement to it. It's what I think of as a good song and it's memorable because of its uniqueness.
The ED on the other hand is a bit of an odd choice. Similar to its respective OP, the song is a rock song, being very heavy in electric guitar, however it has this trippy feel to it that feels like you're on acid or having some drug trip while listening to it. And when you have those visuals in the ED as well...oh boy, that's quite the LSD nightmare.
+ Great and memorable OP
+/- LSD ED. (Its like a drug trip...)
Personal Enjoyment: Concrete is just that, concrete. Watching this show felt like being slammed in the face repeatedly by a slab of concrete. They're both painful to experience and for the most part you don't know why it's happening. As such, this show for me was quite the rage-inducer. Normally, whenever I review anime, I always watch future seasons in order to keep consistency. For this show however, that will not be the case, as the sheer amount of fucks I don't give for this horribly written piece of crap is not enough to constitute me to watch any more.
Did I like this anime?
What didn't I like about this anime?
Everything. Everything except the art and the OP is something I both despise and resent.
Would I recommend this anime?
Even though I hate it...personally, I wouldn't recommend it. The show itself is a fusion of the random storytelling (like FLCL) in conjunction with a theme that made the show try to take itself more seriously than it ever could've. As such, I can't even recommend this show as a time waster since it tries to take itself very seriously without the show really doing anything to build onto that theme aside from introducing new characters with different points of view. I'll say this though; Bones, you have failed me.
Looking for a show about heroes fighting bad guys to save the world? Or maybe something really flamboyant with all type of gags? Perhaps interested in a series with all kinds of supernatural beings thrown into a big chunk of story all packaged ready to open? Concrete Revolutio might be your answer. At its core, the series is a wild ride with everything it tries. And given what it delivered, this show is quite a bit of fun.
A few things to know. Concrete Revolutio is an original series and not based on any work. The show is produced by Bones and directed by Seiji Mizushima,
who is known for directing Full Metal Alchemist. Furthermore, we got Shou Aikawa who’ve worked on other Bones’ shows like Rahxephon. That alone should spark some interest. For an original show, the series is inspired by some unoriginal ideas like superheroes. It’s just like the premise says: a series where supernatural beings becomes part of human society and where superheroes has to deal with them.
The core part of the characters are part of a group known as the Superhuman Bureau, an organization formed by heroes who wants to save the world. Think of it like the Justice League and you’ll get the picture. But rather than Superman, we got a character named Jiro as the main protagonist. Alongside him there’s also others like magical girl Hino, expert tracker Emi Kino, a kid named Fuurouta who can transform into a wild beast, among others. The idea is that these group of heroes has gathered together to save the world without government recognition. Their purpose seems to be the generic moral of “doing the right thing”. The series also invests a lot of time in the group dealing with some interpersonal issues. As a member of the group, Jiro makes his intentions pretty well known. With his trademark violet hair and an indifferent personality, he’s a man to keep an eye on. The rest of the cast is less noticeable although their diverse range of personalities can be entertaining to watch. Unfortunately, there’s not really a whole lot of characterization focused on them individually. Rather, it approaches the group with more of what they do rather than the reasons of them doing what they want.
In terms of episode structure, prepare for a lot of confusion in the first few episodes. Any viewer watching this may have to re-watch a few of the scenes to get a better understanding. Almost every episode has a rather absurd start with a frenzy fashion. You’ll probably get used to it after a while but don’t get caught off guard if it feel like the show dropped you in the middle of the story. Taking a closer glance though, the series focuses on a variety of ideas that extends from historical context such as World Wars to immorality. The timeline of the story is also hard to piece together at first but later does get clearer as each progressing episode. What’s most interesting about the show is how much fun it seems to have with itself. Most superheroes shows these days are mostly about the good guys vs. bad guys and saving the world. Concrete Revolutio goes a little bit beyond that and shows how heroes approaches their problems. Not every episode is structured like this though and some can give the repetitive with the ‘villain of the week’ feeling. But in retrospect, it still retains a sense of fun as it blends between fictional storytelling and entertainment.
Superhuman Bureau also battles a variety of strange beings throughout the series. From oversized Transformers to King Kong like behemoths, it’s actually quite colorful. There’s also secret organizations with their own agenda while we sometimes see the Bureau’s group battle their own personal demons. The show doesn’t offer a central antagonist (The ‘Big Bad’) so it’s more about fighting the good fight and making a difference. Unfortunately, some of these antagonists lacks a decent personality and can feel pretty stereotypical. The battles and resolutions are also fairly predictable so you may get bored from time to time. I can also fairly safe to say that Jiro is a character that is hard to get attached to. I find it difficult to relate to him or understand his character especially later on with his identity issue. Not that it’s holding the show back but Jiro may be a hit or miss character for most fans. Just as the show it is, Concrete Revolutio may not be suitable for everyone.
The art can easily be described as being colorful. It’s saturated all over the setting with its buildings, characters, and supernatural beings. The action itself is also quite stylistic with a gag approach while also translating into some fast paced battle choreography. It’s not hard to keep up but the momentum of the action can be quite swift if you don’t pay close attention. There’s also various transformations that while gimmicky can be amusing to watch because of the physical changes of the characters. Despite this, most of the main characters looks normal in their base form. On the other hand, we got monsters with their otherworldly designs and some that follows a suit of evolution with their revamped body structures. Fan service also exists although not really explicit at all except a few skin here and there. By all terms, it’s actually quite unique for a show about superheroes.
It’s one of my favorite OP songs for this Fall season. From upbeat tones to its catchy lyrics, the theme song takes a dive into colorful choreography. There’s also showcases of the main characters in noticeable moments although most of it is overshadowed by the colors. The OST is less noticeable although makes the series credible during action scenes. However, I have to give some credit for the character expressions to bring out a good amount of comedy for the series. This is coordinated in conjunction with the character voice tones. And because of that, it makes the show quite fun to watch as it adds both thrilling excitement and laughs.
It’s not a masterpiece but Concrete Revolutio is definitely a show to look out for. You don’t have to enjoy superheroes themed series to like this. Nor do you have to examine it like some detective story. With everything it has to offer, the show is quite a bit of fun. From superhero fighting to morality context, it’s a series that knows what to do with its seemingly oversaturated amount of ideas. At least take a look at it and see what these heroes do for a living.
Concrete Revolutio was the one show this season I wasn’t expecting to be as good as it was. This series was a pleasant surprise of Fall 2015. And as it has already been stated, the MAL average here is far underrated. This is definitely not a show you should judge based on first looks.
The artwork is fitting for the superhero theme of the show. In fact, the backgrounds are colored in by tiny dots, almost as if it were printed out from an actual superhero comic book. Other background elements are drawn with very basic shapes and colored solid, also as if it came from
a comic book. Also, the first thing that hits you when you watch this anime is the color. The colors are very bold, and pop, and are flamboyant, if not *fabulous.* Where else are you going to find a main male MC with hot pink hair that swoops? And for a contrast, the psychedelic animation for the ED is pretty trippy; don’t skip it. I must give a 10/10 to the artwork. Bones brought in a new, daring style to the medium, and I love it. However, the playful artwork cannot be taken at face-value. There’s so much more to Concrete Revolutio than what you first see on the surface.
The story is about the Superhuman Bureau, which protects and regulates superhumans. This includes eliminating potentially dangerous superhumans. However, you cannot take the “superhero” theme at face-value either. This is NOT your average cookie-cutter superhero show. One thing that is important to note is that the plot uses timeskips to connect certain points together while leaving events in between secret. It’s not difficult to keep track of since the screen shows you what year it is. Scenes that happen in year 42 deal with cases that the Superhuman Bureau is currently working on. At some time during each episode, the scene will skip ahead to year 47. Here it seems like our hot pink MC, Jiro, is on the run from his own organization, but we don’t know why. Watch each episode to find out more as the plot thickens. This is very much more of an “action mystery” rather than your typical shounen.
As we watch, we learn that each of the main characters have their own secrets and motives, and the lines between good, evil, and justice begin to blur. Some fight for justice, some fight for peace, and some fight for freedom. Humans, superhumans, ghosts, beasts, witches, demons, aliens... what's the difference between these groups and why are they treated differently? Are any of them innately evil? Does the peace of one group inhibit the freedom and justice of another?
I think that's all I should say for now. The best thing I can compare this to is Darker than Black. At first, the series is largely episodic with their own individual mysteries, but each episode digs a little more into the main plot. Then everything begins to tie together as we learn more about the main characters towards the end. However, this season is largely a setup for season 2, it seems.
Anyway, this isn't something you will regret watching if you give it a fair chance and don't judge too early. Enjoy the ride~
Phantasmagoria: an optical illusion produced by a magic lantern or the like in which figures increase or diminish in size, pass into each other, dissolve, etc.
This series' name is a perfect illusion to what it tries to create. It is a series of seemingly disconnected stories that at first try to just show what most stories within a superhero saga don't do, the consequences of an action. We see superheroes as beings who can do no wrong, but what happens when what we think is right, what we think we're protecting, turns out o be the wrong thing. That's what Concrete Revolution: Superhuman Phantasmagoria attempts
The Story is something that takes a while to piece together. At first it seems like completely disconnected events that have some weird tone shift further down the line. I want to compare what the first episode tried to do to Gakkou Gurashi, but failing to hook the viewer, instead I think it wasn't the strongest way to start. However, as the story pans out, the two or three separate timelines start to intersect, you start to understand what is occuring, and you piece together that all is not what it seems. The reality is that the series follows the idea of manipulation of superheroes(superhumans), and the manipulation of the media to polarize people's views on them. I believe that it may need to be rewatched to fully understand it, but the overarching plot is more than meets the eye. It's a very slow burn, but it's quite satisfying on to see piece together so far by the end of this season.
The art... oh boy. This is probably one of the things that really attracted me to the anime at first, just to see the different art style. It just pops, but they also manage to use that flare to emphasise the darkness of the series at times, especially lighting the series. I don't know what to say about the art style, I've never watched anything before by Studio Bones and I wanna watch more of their stuff just for this vibrant art.
The sound design... Hmm. Well, most of what I can remember was the opening and ending theme. However, the ending theme was interesting. It's a very dark sounding song which increases tension at the end of the episode. This is what tells you there is definitely something weird about this show from the beginning. However, I think they also did this so that when you would hear it later during episodes of the show, you'd know that that moment was meant to be tense. However, I didn't really pay all that much attention to the OST. If I do rewatch and re-review, I plan to play close attention to the OST.
The characters are very interesting. Surprisingly, with some exceptions, every character introduced has some longer impact on the plot, side or main. Consequently, this helps reveal certain details about the main characters who are not one-dimensional characters but instead have many little details that deconstruct what they actually are. Possibly the two best examples of this are Kikko and Magotake (Jiro's father), both of which completely shatter your opinions of themselves as the series progresses.
I don't really know how quite to describe this series. Honestly, my best description of the series would come across as the series itself. However, it does take a while to get going and is not for people who aren't able to think outside of the box.
I'm not going to deny that there was once a time when I liked Baccano and Durarara. After all, I watched them during a time in my life when the only anime I was familiar with were harem romance shit and I still thought Guy Ritchie and the first Iron Man movie was cool. Over time though, I've fallen out with them harder than people who once thought Clannad was a masterpiece of making you cry now see the show. There's only so long you can enjoy anime and other visual mediums for its quirkiness and being "better than the pack" before you start craving
something that's actually good on its own terms, and Narita (along with the rest of the light novel author pack) lack that entirely what with his inability to write anything but energy that isn't being applied to anything useful. It's like watching Pulp Fiction if it only came prepared with one pistol rather than the truck-worthy supply Tarantino uses to elevate himself above his friends.
In that regard, I'd like to thank Bones for creating an anime that actually does the whole time-jumping/multiple character/energetic presentation well, because it actually applies that presentation to something with some actual fucking substance rather than try to make said presentation "the" substance. And since we're at it, why don't I thank Bones for a lot of other things too? Like making a superhero anime that actually utilizes the concept of being a superhero. Making an anime that doesn't rely on nostalgia as its only draw. And most of all, making an anime that doesn't suck, something the studio hasn't done in years.
Not even going to be shy about it: Concrete Revolutio is not only my favorite anime of 2015, but one of the best anime I've seen in a long time. It has its lame moments, but the overall package was strong enough to turn the show into an Undertale-style hit that grabbed the attention of quite a few big names. Gen Urobuchi and that guy who handled the writing for Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill are both attached to its upcoming sequel, with the latter acting as a third main writer because apparently two people and a few guest writers aren't enough to tell the story Bones wants. Whether or not this will benefit the show's writing or turn it into a "too many cooks" situation, I don't know. But those names will get more people watching the thing than this dinky review can even hope to match, and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.
Whilst it starts off weak due to a premiere that felt like an hour-long episode crammed into 22 minutes, Concrete Revolutio quickly rises above the rest of the superpower pack by assuring us that it's going to take its premise seriously and not use it a vehicle for throwaway gags and beautifully animated yet incredibly empty fight scenes that will always prove Zack Snyder right about Marvel's movies. Similar to how Haibane Renmei stood out from the rest of the "slice-of-life centered on cute girls" pack due to its religious bent, Concrete Revolutio is jam-packed with all manners of political metaphors surrounding Japan's history to accompany the adventures of an organization of super humans centered on a young man named Jiro, the only dude I know who can make pink hair cool. Whilst seemingly just another cool boy who leads his team to victory, it's revealed very early on that five years into the future, Jiro would betray his organization in order to help out super humans on their own terms and much of the show's momentum is carried by learning why he did so, whilst exploring its world through various episodic plots centered on other super powered people who have their own vision of justice in regards to the happenings caused by the time period.
Admittedly, I'm not too familiar with the history portrayed in this show and I'm not gonna bother looking them up since so many other people have written about the connections better than I ever will, but I do know that the story's melding of politics and superhero is not dissimilar to Watchmen - which the creators have admitted to wanting to make a Japanese version of. And Watchmen was a great book that Concrete Revolutio borrows from correctly. It has the same time-jumping mechanics and conflicts caused by ultimately good intentioned superheroes as a result of the atrocities committed by our government along with foreign ones (particularly America in CR's case because that's whom anime always goes after when they need a country to oppose. You know, at least Geass went after the UK in its story) that you're nevertheless not supposed to root for because they're fucking psychos whose plans aren't even guaranteed to succeed. The final bad guy in particular is basically Zero from Code Geass - right down to the costume and his way of thinking - if the show portrayed his morality as a reasonable alternative that we nevertheless want no part of rather than the ultimately right choice that R2 ended up doing. Nevertheless, Concrete Revolutio not only gets what makes its predecessor work, it knows it shouldn't outright copy it and does its own thing where, without spoiling anything in particular, Ozymandias doesn't win. Obviously there are more differences to Watchmen than just that, but if I listed all of them, this review would be over 5000 words long.
But let's focus on the characters since the story itself is best experienced by going into it with as little information as possible even if you can still enjoy it greatly despite that. Most of the interesting aspects are given to Jiro and episodic characters like Earth-chan, whilst the more recurring characters are generally there to serve the plot as needed with the occasional moment in the sun as long as it adds to the story. We don't even learn anything about Kikko - the character we're supposedly meant to project ourselves onto given how she's the naive newcomer - until the final arc, and when we do, it doesn't really have much bearing on what's going on besides giving her an unexpected darker side in order to make sure she isn't left behind by the other more complex characters. They're not boring given how they all clearly have their own baggage which the show exploits from time to time, as well as the existence of that one really boring sixth episode that took the focus away from them and suffered massively for it. Nevertheless, I can't really picture watching an OVA of them slacking off the same way I can for Noragami.
And for the record, thank fucking christ that there are no slack-off scenes or character relaxation moments in this show, unless you count that scene where Kikko whines to Fuurouta about her crush on Jiro being spoiled by him living with a fox lady. There's nothing wrong with them in-between big moments, but too many anime - and Durarara in particular - overdo the breaks to the point that they're pretty much the animated series equivalent of an employee who's paid on the hour but never does any actual work. Concrete Revolutio never separates the characters from the story, keeping everything nice and tight even when it leads to some spotty plotting, and trusts the audience to figure out for themselves what timeline we're supposed to be looking at. It never bothers to hold their hand, but it's not inaccessible. You just have to pay attention and accept that you're not going to get the bigger picture on your first go.
Concrete Revolutio is a heavy show that demands a lot from its audience whilst juggling many different viewpoints in a narrative that's all about how there's no winning side when it comes to crimes committed by our government. It refuses to make things simple, because it can't afford to be simple in regards to issues that professionals haven't been able to figure out for years. It'll take the time to show the consequences no matter what side you're on, but it doesn't have answers. Nobody has answers, and if they do, they're not going to express it through a cartoon on public television. All anime like Concrete Revolutio can do is keep raising awareness until someone someday figures out the best way forward. And when you express that agenda through usage of a world where every kind of super powered being imaginable exists, even better.
Concrete Revolutio is not the kind of show that you can find to be totally average. Nope, since episode 1, this show's been incredibly polarizing, leading to many people dropping the show because it didn't immediately fulfill their expectations. But after finishing the season and reflecting on it as a whole, Concrete Revolutio is something very exceptional.
Concrete Revolutio's unconventional narrative style is probably what initially scared many people away from the show. You see, the storyline is not linear. The date that episodes take place in will be shown at the start of the episode, but at first episodes do not seem to be
connected at all. But the further you get, the more you begin to understand that all of these seemingly unconnected episodes are actually very tied in. By the end of the season, a very deep and engaging story has been woven.
I don't want to go into too much detail about the actual events of Concrete Revolutio's story (it's much better experienced yourself), but I'll go over the themes. Taking place in an alternate world in which superhumans coexist with the rest of the world, Concrete focuses on the Superhuman Bureau, a mysterious organization whose job seems to be to protect superhumans. Political intrigue, protests for rights and peace, and many more concepts ensue. The premise is great, and while it isn't immediately delivered on, it's very satisfying by the end.
In a world of Tokyo Ghouls and Akame Ga Kills, it's nice to see some anime that remembers that you're allowed to use colors. Exceedingly. Concrete's artwork is colorful and vibrant, a unique breath of fresh air. Additionally, the backgrounds are often shaded with Ben-Day dots (that's when you see shading made up of a whole bunch of tiny dots in comics), which is a very cool throwback to the comics that inspired Concrete. Character designs are pretty good too, and the animation as a whole is solid. 3DCG is minimal and looks pretty good when it is used.
The opening of Concrete Revolutio is probably in my top 10 openings of any show I've watched. I mean, I'd have to actually make that list first, but I'm sure it would make it on somewhere. It does a great job of hyping you up and I never skipped it. On the flipside, the ending is full of distorted slow guitars and trippy visuals - a totally different vibe but still a great one. The background music checks out, and I especially liked how the ending theme serves as a character's theme later on in the show.
Of course, Concrete has a central cast of main characters. There's the protagonist Jiro, the ghost kid Furota, and the witch girl Kikko. However, there's also the other 5 or so members of the Superhuman bureau. There's also multiple groups of young kids, two bands, and members of vague yet menacing advertising agencies and militaries. The point is, there's a ton of characters, and most of them actually get a suprising amount of screen time, with most members of the Bureau and groups of kids getting their own episodes. Of course, this division leaves some of the main characters without too much backstory - we still don't really know the story of Emi - but all in all, the large cast doesn't get stale. Everyone's motives are different, every action is justifiable, and every character is likable.
Although not a drag to get through, the early episodes of Concrete Revolutio can come off as confusing, as they often open plot threads that aren't mentioned and resolved again until much later episodes. However, the farther one gets through the show, the more everything makes sense, and the more enjoyable it is. Besides, with a show as heavy on symbolism as Concrete, there's a lot of people willing to discuss speculation and theory and try to figure out the timeline. I myself tried to map out a time-traveling character's multiple timelines and how they converged and diverged, and it ended up being a lot of fun.
If I had to describe Concrete Revolutio in one word, it would be emergent. The story slowly rolls out over the course of the show until everything becomes connected by the end. While that's a really cool feeling to experience, it didn't bode well with viewers who watched the first few episodes and were disappointed that the show wasn't explaining everything right away. Because of these early droppers and disenfranchised viewers, Concrete doesn't have a very good rating on MAL. But don't let those ratings deceive you. Concrete Revolutio is one of the best shows of this year, and the great experiences I had watching this show were unlike anything any other anime has offered to me.
Please give this anime a chance to develop. It will reward you big time in the end. Just like the other viewers, I was confused at first with the constant switching of time frames but you will soon appreciate how story was told as you reach the end. It is a unique experience where in the question "Why Jiro left the Superhuman Bureau?" is introduced in the beginning and you go back to the past to search for clues to answer that question. The constant flashbacks will give you hints on how the protagonist end up with his stand on the anime's main theme (justice,
peace, and freedom), and also help you decide whether or not the protagonist made the right decision.
This season gives the viewers an opportunity to choose a side. Across all the episodes, you will see the flaws and strong points of each factions (superhumans, government, ordinary citizens). Unlike other animes, this one dwells more on the gray area of humanity. There is no clear distinction between good and evil. Instead this anime gives you different characters that you can identify with. Each one having their own ideology on what is right and wrong.
When viewing this anime, pay close attention to dialog and interaction between characters; for most of the things they say or do are not random. Often times, you might dismiss what they are saying as philosophical garbage but in actuality would have great implications on the future events. This anime is also heavy in symbolism. You will notice that some events corresponds to actual events that happened in real life.
Overall it is a very intriguing and stimulating anime. It will make you question your own ideals, and make you more aware of what is happening politically.
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
One of my father’s favorite superheroes is Superman. But, to me, Superman is always one of my least favorite.
He can lift cars. He can literally deflect bullets. He can regenerate by exposing himself to sunlight. But what kills him? A rock. He is boring and, ironically, weak. Lame.
You know what is not lame? Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou. Kryptonite will not be taking down Concrete anytime soon.
The anime world coins Concrete as a split-cour anime. Its first half plays in one season. A season-long break is taken. And then the second, final half plays during the
season following the break. It is basically a two-cour anime rather than two, independent seasons since the second half directly continues where the first left off.
The first half to a split-cour is generally meant to create the foundation. Introduce the characters, have some plot, get the audience interested in what it has to offer. The payoff comes in the second half.
Concrete does not resign itself to such simplicity.
The anime is framed in a fascinating way. Rather than the events being played in a continuous fashion, they are scrambled. Episodes take place years and months apart. Often times, the current period jumps back-and-forth within a single episode. Most certainly interesting. But why? Why intentionally make everything difficult to follow?
Before this question can be answered, Concrete’s themes have to first be explored. Three major themes exist. This amount is a lot for an anime to handle, especially a first half to a split-cour. The handling is made harder by their scope: morality, racism, and control.
The first theme, morality, is the most prominent in the anime and arguably the most important. Many events, like Fuurouta killing the bugs in the “Black Fog” or Earth-chan the robot flying around the globe helping people, revolve around a philosophical thought that has stumped men and women forever: What does it mean to be “good” or “evil”?
Is it considered good to take out a civilization bugging others when that same civilization were the first ones to be treated poorly? Can a lie, which is inherently wrong, ever benefit another? The actions of the “good guys” and the “bad guys” are constantly up in the air, questioned by not just the cast but also the audience.
The second theme, racism, starts appearing later on in the season. Racism is certainly not as philosophically challenging – racism is simply discrimination of another based on race (or a similar trait). But it is no doubt just as important.
Concrete has people with superpowers and those without. Sometimes they work together, but, more often than not, they are clashing. Superhumans even clash with other superhumans. One episode focuses on the destruction of a harmless family that literally cannot die. Another episode highlights the betrayal of Rainbow Knight, the best and most important superhuman. In essence, these nonhuman people are treated in a particularly racist fashion.
Concrete further explores its theme on racism when it showcases horrible mistreatment of the nonhuman groups. Coexisting with monsters, experimenting on superhumans, and student-held rallies for both. The anime does not just present racism and leave it for later; the anime actively explores it.
For these and many other examples, they continue investigating the theme on morality. Should an undying group that is doing no harm, but cannot ever be stopped, continue to exist? Were Rainbow Knight’s actions as infamous as they seemed?
The third theme, control, intersperses itself throughout the season. Like government, the theme is always there, but it only occasionally explicitly appears. It hides in the shadows. Unseen but not unheard of.
The “Superhuman Bureau,” the conspiring nationalistic powers of Japan and the United States, and lobbyists like “Imperial Ads” have their hand in many of the events. Akita secretly meeting with other members of his species to run the proceedings behind the scenes. The US submarine filled with in-super-humane test subjects. The poisoning of chocolate to curb superhumans. These are steps these different groups take. Steps made to seize control.
On its own, this theme is interesting, but it is its overlapping with the other themes that makes it purposeful. Whether or not the Superhuman Bureau wanting to eliminate rather than protect Grosse Augen, a dangerous yet beneficial superhuman, questions the morality of their actions. Japan and the United States hiding superhuman test subjects in a secret alcove, which causes Claude to kill the scientists in charge of the project, targets racism and morality respectively. Imperial Ads pushing to stop the Revised Superhuman Law in order to deal with superhumans and monsters how they, Imperial Ads, want to challenges racism once more.
Now back to the main question. Why make the narrative intentionally difficult to follow? The answer is in the themes themselves. Morality, racism, and control are ideas that are often times convoluted and confusing. Multiple perspectives, personal bias, and situational variables do not always leave a definitive, linear answer. In other words, the complexity of the themes coincides with the convoluted nature of the narrative.
All of these details are occurring in just the first half of Concrete, giving the anime a very strong foundation for the second half to eventually work off of.
Concrete’s color range is large, adding a lot of pop and pizazz to the different characters, locations, and events. It is not even worth trying to list all of the colors; the anime grabbed a rainbow and slathered it all over itself.
The art also includes different techniques to continue Concrete’s appeal. Almost as if braille were covering the walls or the sky, some backgrounds adopt what appear to be a ton of tiny dots. Other backgrounds have parallel lines. These techniques add a comic-book feel which, given the superhumans and superpowers, fits wonderfully.
Lights and shadows have a presence, too, making the various scenes and abilities that much more detailed. And Concrete even includes comedic mouths and expressions for just a dash of hilarity. Not so much funny that it drowns out the drama but enough funny that a quick laugh or two can keep the drama from overwhelming the audience.
The visuals of the ending track also deserve a mention. The giant caterpillars, eyeball entities, and humanoid spiders, accompanied by the psychedelic colors, movements, and realistic depictions, follow a common motif of the anime: Not everything is as it seems.
Actual animation throughout the season surprisingly keeps up. The usual hair and eye movements are around (not all of the time, but they are there), but it is the episodic battles with their high animation levels that stand out. Iron Raito duking it out against Android Megasshin and Jirou, Jirou using Equus to kill MegaGon, and Earth-chan colliding with an electrified liar are just a handful of examples that demonstrate the nice animation Concrete has. Alongside the explosions, the collapsing objects, and the superpowers of the different superhumans (a special shout-out goes to Kikko’s “Meteortail!” magic), the anime’s animation never lets up.
But most impressive are the character designs. Kikko has three main designs. Her everyday human self has purple hair and a nice blue outfit. Her good side is more magical girl in origin with lavender-colored hair, star-filled eyes, and intricately-made clothing. And her bad side contrasts her good side with magenta hair, red eyes, and black attire.
Kikko is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to the designs of the anime, but most of the characters switch up how they look now and again. Jirou has his formal attire while in the Superhuman Bureau and his more renegade, vigilante look when he is on the run. Fuurouta has his various forms – balloon, bird, bee – as well as his dichotomous clown and worker outfits.
Fuurouta’s dichotomy highlights a trick that Concrete uses. In order to orient the audience, these different designs are associated with the past and the present. When the audience sees Hyouma, the time wielder, in his brown outfit, they know the current time period is before Jirou’s defection. But if he is in his purple outfit, the audience instead understands that the time period is back to the present.
And many other members of the cast are the same way, like Earth-chan and Hikaru (the electric user) and Raito. Nearly every character has a design that varies, is interesting, or both, proving once and for all the strength of Concrete’s art.
While the cast of Concrete is not as strong as the story it contains, for a first half to a split-cour anime, they have proven their worth more than enough.
Emi is arguably the most mysterious of the bunch. The audience does not know much about her. She is technically not a superhuman; she is a monster. Her nickname is “Ogre Emi” given her manipulation of dark, often otherworldly creatures. And as the audience comes to learn, she can shapeshift to look like any woman in a photo or drawing. (It is unknown currently if she can do this for males since she has never been shown to do so. It is probable but so far not canon.)
Beyond these more superficial details, she remains a mystery. Her backstory does not exist yet. Her motives are unclear. But what is understood is that she has a deep affection for Jirou.
Not just in her helping Jirou when he goes berserk (which is already valiant). But also in how she listens to him. Cares for him. Dotes on him more so than anyone else she has ever known. Her relationship with him has even sparked some controversy. That, perhaps, Jirou is only with her out of obligation for everything she has done for him. To some extent, Emi knows this, too. Especially near the end when she states, “I wanted him to chase after her,” referring to Jirou and Kikko.
However, Emi’s most interesting trait is one that is not really a trait of hers at all. To reiterate, the narrative flits back-and-forth between the past and the present. But, strangely, Emi is very rarely shown in the present.
Despite how much she is around in the past. Despite how much she lives for Jirou. Her presence in the present is next to none. The cool part is that is the point. Emi is mysterious, so what better way to amplify her mystery than to exclude her almost entirely from what is arguably the more interesting timeline.
As such, it is inevitable that she should have (read: better have) some important scenes in the second half. But, for now, she is more than utilized in the first.
Kikko almost remains as mysterious as Emi, but, thankfully, the anime goes into a bit more detail with the witch. This wording is not an insult; she is canonically a witch. Or, as her companion Ullr calls her, “Star Child.” For much of the season, the audience sees Kikko as nothing more than a kindhearted girl. Still, her main role is acting as a lens the audience uses to understand Concrete: She participates in the events, but she is always posing questions the audience should think about.
For Kikko, Jirou is love at first sight. Literally. She joins the Superhuman Bureau in order to be close to Jirou and to understand the world he lives in. While with him and through Emi, she learns of the beast within Jirou. A similar trait she shares with the man. Yet she remains rather passive for the majority of the season. Then the last few episodes come around.
Throughout the season, it was hinted that Kikko seeks energy in the form of human happiness. During the last arc, however, her true reason for being on Earth is revealed: She is looking for a suitor – i.e., a “spouse” as Ullr puts it – in order to officially take over the “devil realm” where she presumably comes from.
Her eviler side arrives because she believes Claude to be Jirou. Claude says and does what she wants Jirou to say and do. And, of course, her love for Jirou plays a role, too. So she mistakenly makes the assumption, turning her against the Superhuman Bureau and, more importantly, Jirou. As such, she indirectly forces Jirou away: Emi agrees to help Jirou get Kikko back on the condition that he forevermore stays away from Kikko.
While Jirou keeps his promise, Kikko fights to understand Jirou and to get him back. In the present, she becomes like Emi, chasing after the man that she has come to love so much. And, again like Emi, she is in a strong spot as a character for when the second half rolls around.
This leaves Jirou. Jirou is considered human despite his incredible and incredibly dangerous power. He is adopted, his idol is the now-deceased (maybe; still somewhat unconfirmed) Rainbow Knight, and he works with the Superhuman Bureau in order to do right by his father and by his hero.
Arguably the main protagonist, Jirou sees many of the events. They test his convictions. More specifically, they test his definition of justice. The side characters help to make this happen. The episodes usually bring a new set of characters who get their own backstory as well as another new way for Jirou to view justice.
For example, helping out a known, helpful superhuman. Stopping an old, misunderstood grudge. Showing an old friend what justice thinks of him. Fighting what he calls “beasts.” Realizing what others think of their own powers. Witnessing someone who always values good. Explaining his side to a fellow admirer. Understanding limits. Having the strength to stand for what one believes in. And learning the sad, unfortunate truth about his hero.
And in regards to the narrative themes on morality, race, and government, justice is paramount. All three themes rely on justice. On what justice means and brings and gives to those involved and not involved. And like those themes, justice is not always defined.
Jirou puts it best: “But not everyone can be black or white. Even if they’re grey…. If they believe in justice, I want to be the ally of justice.” Jirou wants to be like his hero Rainbow Knight. Someone that does not view life as either yes or no. Up or down. Left or right. He wants to be the man that aids justice. In whatever way that may be.
Justice is not just Jirou’s theme but all of the characters’ theme. Emi and Kikko and the myriad of other side characters justify justice in their own way. Jirou, though, takes it to the highest level: He embodies justice. He comes to the conclusion that he is “no longer justice.” Thus, he pursues being an “ally of justice” to protect everyone, transitioning from the main protagonist to the main antagonist. Due to the nature of the narrative, this transition happens repeatedly, but it shows how multisided Jirou’s character is.
What will become of Jirou is anyone’s guess, but he is saying and doing what he should have been all along.
Like the narrative, Concrete has only just begun to work with its characters. But, what has been given about them and what they represent thus far, they are primed and ready for what lays ahead.
One of the strongest parts of Concrete is the ending track. No lyrics are sung. Just a simple and slow hard guitar accompanied by resounding drums and a killer beat. It all comes together to create a track that captures the foreboding feeling of the narrative quite well. And to top it all off, the piece is catchy to listen to.
The opening track does not even compare to the ED, but it does have strengths of its own. The beginning with the “Whoa!” and the general quietness. The middle with the various beats and nice singing. The end with the payoff to the build-up and the stepwise, quick finish. The OP comes together nicely, making it a nice lead-in to the episodes it precedes.
The rest of the original soundtrack is filled with all manner of songs. “Revolution” gets at the rock-n-roll vibe that matches the cool (as in popular) vibes of the anime. “A Bittersweet Pill” is exactly that: a bittersweet song. And variations of the OP and the ED litter the anime. Concrete’s tracks are mostly there for atmospheric purposes, and, while almost none of the tracks positively stand out besides “Kinji Rare Ta Asobi” due to its origins and relations, the tracks are fitting for the anime and not much more.
Sound-effects in Concrete are pretty standard for an anime filled to the brim with superpowers. Special shout-outs for Earth-chan’s squeaky sound when she makes a step and Kikko’s magical magic are deserved. And a smaller shout-out for the occasional English-spoken lines.
Finally, voice acting performances are likewise standard. Sumire Uesaka as Kikko gives the witch a young, girly voice. Kaito Ishikawa as Jirou goes through some emotions. And Ayana Taketatsu as Earth-chan gives the bad-fighting, good-girl robot a cute way of speaking. About average overall not just for them but also for the other performances.
Except Mr. Cloud that Kikko summoned for three seconds in episode one. His “Hi!” and “Bye!” were so jovial.
This anime falls into that weird category of shows that I find to be very well crafted yet neither enthralling nor appalling. It is just there.
On the one hand, the show is interesting. The constant time shifts. The more mature themes that society deals with and that nearly everyone should think about. The cool battles and the pretty colors and the yet-to-be-revealed mysteries. It is an anime that requires me to think rather than just be amused by its brand of entertainment.
Other parts were amusing. The running gag with Jiro calling Kikko by name and Kikko subsequently blushing was fun to me. And when the anime turned the romance into a vital part to Kikko’s character and the story, I was pretty darn happy. In other words, I was thinking and I was smiling.
On the other hand, the show is uninteresting. The characters, despite how wacky or fun or different they may be, are not memorable. That is, they do not leave a strong impression. I do not see myself raving about Kikko weeks from now. I do not see myself talking about Jirou months from now. I do not see myself mentioning Emi years from now. They are cute, cool, and crafty, respectively, but not characters that have any lasting impact.
The anime also lacks enticing comedy or drama. Hilarity is there. Drama does exist. But the level that these areas reach did not resonate with me deeply. A slight chuckle here, a head nod there. These reactions are about as much as this one got out of me.
Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou may seem like a pretty strange anime. And it is. But what lays inside is a lot of execution. Thought-provoking themes, well-prepared characters, and surprisingly-cool visuals and music create an anime that more than readies itself for its second half. Another way to put it is that Superman wishes he was as super as this one is.
Story: Great, themes on morality, race, and control, wrapped in a confusing yet purposeful narrative structure, establish a very strong first half
Animation: Great, diverse color range, various artistic techniques boost appeal, above average actual animation, and very nice character designs
Characters: Great, Emi, Kikko, and Jirou are set up nicely, the side characters are purposeful, and the theme on justice ties them all together
Sound: Fine, good OP, great ED, okay OST, standard sound-effects, and about average VA performances
Enjoyment: Fine, while the whole package is there and interesting, the unmemorable characters and low emotional resonance bring down the experience
Choujin Gensou is a show with a good concept with a lacklustre presentation, while questioning political and social aspect of superheroes.
This ain't your average super hero themed show, it tackles on rights of being, politics and social changes that occur when you have super human beings living among the norm.
The fight scenes are nice, but that isn't why this anime is attractive. Dealing with hard topics such as mentioned above is interesting, applying the same principles across all other superhero works and review what political and social backlash these superheroes should have brought.
The show has episodic nature yet it has consistent build up to a
grander story. The show's presentation was one of the most confusing piece of work I've seen lately. It presents with different timelines where events takes place in seemingly random time slot in the anime.
Myriad of colours with many range of hues definitely keeps the eye candy going. The art direction is also incredibly delicious, but at times there are characters that doesn't seem to belong in the same universe (i.e. Fuutarou vs Jirou). But that perhaps may be the charm in Choujin Gensou, where you have fantasy of different superhero characters mashed into one.
Studio Bones could have taken a more serious approach but decided to go with mid way point where it's a still a little light on the topic. With that you get an anime that can both take on one critical issue while remaining cutesy colourful anime that's appealing to most.
As a disclaimer, I am biased as elephant when it comes to superhero content.
Should you recommend Choujin Gensou?: Maybe, if they are into human rights
Before watching Concrete Revolutio, there's much to like and catch your eye. Bones is always an interesting studio, the artstyle pops, and it's about superhumans. But the real problem is what comes after.
Concrete Revolutio follows an organization that seeks out superhumans and protects them in order to maintain public order. This show's plot isn't necessarily beat up some guy abusing his power and terrorizing the city which is a good thing. But it starts to fall wayward soon after its start.
The big issue I have with the show is that nothing is properly connected. This is not because of the occasional transitions between the current
timeline, which shows the MC after having left the Superhuman Bureau, and the past timeline in which he's still a member. In fact the most interesting part of the show is finding out how the story got to where it was. The problem is that plot points are all so dull. The cases that the Superhuman Bureau works don't catch the interest of viewers and the big failing is the it doesn't emphasize the main characters enough. As an episodic style anime, Concrete Revolutio fails to strike a balance between the plot, the main characters, and the small cast that gets their one episode slot.
What happens here is that the extras get too much time and the main plot is nowhere near emphasized enough in the story. Each episode features a side plot that isn't linked in a way that draws more interest into the main plot. In the end this makes it feel like filler, a wasted 20 minutes of time that could've detailed something else. A few of the episodes just felt like "another day at the office". This could be okay if the main cast had more time in the story and we got to learn more about them, but this isn't the case.
The best part of this anime was definitely the art. The few fights looked nice and as stated before everything pops and is vibrant. The backgrounds are fantastic and I definitely plan to save a few of them.
Overall, Concrete Revolutio isn't particularly worth watching this season. The show seemed pretty unique, which is something I'm all for, but it was executed poorly. I may finish it if I first finish up some other things.
Well. Concrete Revolutio. yeah.
So, let me say the most important thing first. Although I gave this show 8/10, I did not enjoy it at all. This show is that type of a work that has very high value, yet no one really enjoys it (akin to shakespearean plays). The characters are interesting, the animation is vibrant, the problems and solution it proposes are reasonably well thought out, and yet it's utter pain to watch, with a band-aid in form of vivid colors and mechas.
Incidentallly, there's just one thing that ruins the enjoyment, which is the pacing/way of storytelling. It's that LET'S-FUCKING-JUMP-ALL-OVER-THE-TIMELINE-BETWEEN-PEACEFUL-DAYS-AND-THE-END-GAME-FINALE-FULL-OF-TREATCHERY-AND-STRIFE kind of deal that
all these overabmitious animes use.
So, If you watch anime in order to gain something from it, this might be a show for you. Maybe. Since I don't belong in that category. I watch anime to unwind and escape from my problems for a little while, so I'll take moe slice of life or mushishi-esque relaxants over this... something.
Concrete Revolutio is a story about justice, but not in the traditional sense. The story does not use justice as a means of black and white character motivation or to move forward a sequence of events. It does not involve someone seeking revenge for the murder of their family, or a magical little girl fighting for love and justice.
Concrete Revolutio instead gives a story about seeking out answers that no one can give you, specifically about justice and what seeking justice truly means. This means that the characters analyze justice for themselves, and in the end, come to a conclusion about whether or not
justice is worth seeking out, if it exists or not, and who deserves it.
This means that justice is not a simple plot devise in Conrevo, but instead a theme, a question instead of an answer, a confusing topic that the characters think about in every episode. Justice is, however, not the only theme conveyed in this work, but also many others, such as love, naivety, and the human condition. It’s a show that is selling an idea about justice, about what the character believe about justice and if justice can be manufactured and sold as a fantasy.
Conrevo does all this in a setting that is at first very much unlike our own. It contains monsters, beasts, robots that beat up bad guys, aliens, magical girls, and superhumans. Over time, however, viewers with a keen eye can point out how things that at first seemed so foreign can also be symbols for real things, things that were in and going on in the time period Conrevo takes place, which is the 1950s through the 70s, using the cold war to its advantage to get its themes across.
The characters are used mostly as a means of getting ideas and beliefs out. Some characters are merely there to convey their beliefs, and some are symbols of other things. This is not to say the characters aren’t well written. On the contrary, the characters must be masterfully written in order to get the themes and symbols across to the audience, although it is hidden through dialogue, imagery, and symbols.
The way Conrevo presents the story in highly unconventional. In every episode we start with one point in time, and in every episode we skip to another point in time which has relevance. Some have called it messy, however I have formed the opinion that it is well planned out and fits in the overall structure and the theme the show wants to convey.
The art style, looking similar to comic book strips, is fitting for the subject matter. With a show about superhumans, robots, aliens, and magical girls, why not have a wacky art style? But this style also fits with old style Japanese manga characters, such as Cyborg 009 and Devilman. It is obviously fitting for a show that deals with stripping away the role of the superhuman and questions justice to have this imagery, just as most these characters from the old days fought for justice.
Overall, Conrevo is well worth your time. It has amazing thematic pacing, strange but warranted storytelling, having time skips in every episode, and is one of the most original and well planned out anime I have seen in a long while.
This review is solely based on my own opinion and is in no way intended to insult or discourage anyone from watching this anime. We all have our own likes and opinions and should not allow someone else's word to overpower our own.
Before I start this review I think it's safe to say that this anime can be adequately described as a 'hit or miss' anime. Meaning that you're either going to absolutely love it or absolutely hate it. There will be no in between (unless your special and believe that this anime was just 'fair' like me)
Without spoiling any important information from the
anime I can wholeheartedly say that the plot of this anime was well thought of from beginning to end. What I can say is that this anime requires you to think more than you usually do with other anime and connect the dots throughout the whole season so that you can see the big picture and understand what season two may or may not be about.
In the beginning we are introduced to a number of characters who have united for one reason. To protect superhumans. That's pretty much all the information we are given about each character. For a while that is. As the story progresses we slowly but surely find out that each character has his/her own story to be told and own reason for joining the others, good and/or bad.
Now don't get me wrong, I love this anime. However I've already decided that I am not going to sugar-coat this review as best as I can. Each and every episode has it's own meaning/message and whether you get it or not the episodes (depending on who you are) are still quite enjoyable. I'm saying that my enjoyment of this anime is a 8/10 is because it leaves many questions unanswered. I get the 'giving the viewer the freedom to imagine and come up with there own answers' but I just want to know what the creator's answer to those questions are. And in all honesty I, sometimes, just couldn't come up with a, in my opinion, acceptable? answer. And lets face it, we all know that sometimes we would rather someone else give an answer so that we ourselves don't have to.
My overall rating for Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou is a 7/10
I just feel as though that they could have done better with how the anime was presented and how the flow of the story could have gone. But. I don't know if I would have wanted a different Concrete Revolutio. I feel as though the anime would have lost it's uniqueness if it was presented in a different light